Benelux: Luxembourg

The buzzwords in Luxembourg today are ‘technology’, ‘innovation’ and ‘digitalisation’, as the country seeks to establish itself as a smart nation and unlock its full potential. This trend is likewise unfolding in the trademark space, as the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) seeks new ways to create a stimulating environment for entrepreneurs and rights holders. For example, in June 2020 it offered creators the possibility to record and protect new ideas, concepts and formats free of charge through its i-DEPOT offering. BOIP has also introduced an electronic trademark and design registration transfer service, which should simplify and accelerate the process. BOIP is clearly thriving under new lead Ragnar Gustafsson and was recently awarded ISO 27001 information security certification as a testament to its high standards. Meanwhile, firms continue to diversify their services, which has affected the WTR 1000 coverage, with demotions and debuts both featuring this year.

Firms

  • /c Law
  • Allen & Overy LLP
  • Arendt & Medernach
  • Decker & Braun
  • DISTINCTIVE+IPSILON
  • DLA Piper
  • NautaDutilh

/c Law

Dynamic boutique /c Law “has carved out a special place for itself on the market” through its fresh, modern approach. Its highly specialised IP, IT and data protection services are dispensed by a six-practitioner team which maintains a laser focus on the Luxembourg market. Together they advise 130-plus organisations, including more than 10 local authorities, regulators and administrators, as well as 13 of the country’s top 60 employers. A central pillar of the practice, Claire Léonelli instils the set with drive and passion. The “incredible and practical lawyer” hits her stride in complex litigation, but can register trademark rights as easily as she can defend them.

Allen & Overy LLP

As part of the firm’s wider international network, Allen & Overy’s Luxembourg contingent shares much of the same qualities as its counterparts around the world. However, the outfit boasts one of the largest IP departments in the country and is a force to be reckoned with in its own right too. Lately it has been bringing out the big guns in litigation and assisting prestigious brands with their licensing endeavours; and through close cooperation with their banking and regulatory colleagues, its trademark practitioners have also become trusted counsel to many in the fintech space. The name to note is Catherine Di Lorenzo, a technology whizz who recently took over the division after the departure of Katia Manhaeve.

Arendt & Medernach

Ensuring that patrons get optimum commercial value from their intangible assets is what business law firm Arendt & Medernach does best. Rather than simply taking instructions as external counsel, it works closely with clients to understand their underlying strategies and objectives, in order to play the role of a true business partner. Sophie Wagner-Chartier and Astrid Wagner are the first port of call for potential briefs.

Decker & Braun

“A longstanding name in the country, Decker & Braun is an excellent dispute resolution firm with knowledgeable and wise attorneys.” It has built up a stalwart reputation over four decades of practice: almost every precedent-setting case heard at the domestic courts bears its fingerprints. At the vanguard is namesake Nicolas Decker, “a prominent litigator with encyclopaedic knowledge of national case law”. Joining him is polyglot Marianne Decker, who marries data protection, e-commerce and advertising expertise with polished negotiation skills.

DISTINCTIVE+IPSILON

Following its merger with French and US-based firm IPSILON in early 2020, nimble boutique DISTINCTIVE+IPSILON makes its debut in the WTR 1000 this year. Dedicated to procuring, enforcing and monetising intangible assets, the lean yet effective unit brings advanced technical understanding and commercial nous to every instruction. “An earnest and bright attorney who instinctively grasps clients’ needs and the challenges of each case”, founding partner Dominique Charlotte Crassaerts is a key name for the address book.

DLA Piper

Impressive local knowledge and expansive global reach are hallmarks at DLA Piper. Although the international giant has only been on the ground here for seven years and offered IP services for three, the side is stacked with talent. Among other things, it handles major disputes both nationally and in France, provides game-changing regulatory assistance and makes light work of complex technology-related mandates. Media and telecommunications heavyweights are fans of David Alexandre, who adroitly handles large-scale trademark portfolios. He joined the fold in 2019 and is now building up the firm’s prosecution offering.

NautaDutilh

A team of top-drawer litigators operates out of full-service Benelux firm NautaDutilh and their first-class work has not gone unnoticed. The outfit is a repository of trust for global market leaders in the fashion, consumer goods and technology industries. Most recently, the squad has been representing Skylink in its saga with Sky. The case raises interesting questions regarding the likelihood of infringement in different jurisdiction and is a hot topic of discussion among national practitioners. Leading the charge on this matter is Vincent Wellens, whose in-house experience shines through in his commercially effective solutions and ancillary insight in disciplines such as data protection and trade practices. While high-stakes disputes are undoubtedly a strong point for NautaDutilh, it also provides invaluable input on portfolio restructuring matters, informed by intimate familiarity with the country’s advantageous tax regime.

Other recommended experts

Leading the IP division at CMS, Laure Chemla is an “extremely dedicated, highly responsive and interactive counsel who brings a great attitude” to all challenges that come her way.

Individuals

  • Marianne Decker - Decker & Braun
  • Nicolas Decker - Decker & Braun
  • David Alexandre - DLA Piper
  • Laure Chemla - CMS Luxembourg
  • Dominique Charlotte Crassaerts - DISTINCTIVE+IPSILON
  • Claire Léonelli - /c Law
  • Vincent Wellens - NautaDutilh